February 14

A Thought: Love.

February 14 is Valentines Day, the day on which we celebrate and explore love in all it’s many ideals. How a day for lovers came to be celebrated during the middle of February is an interesting and old story. The story of Valentines Day began during the days of the Roman Empire, which held a festival every February. This Lupercian Festival was held in honor of the God of Fertility and during the festivities young men would get to choose their mate. At the time marriage was a common occurrence, but when Claudius became Emperor he changed all of that. Fearing men would refuse their duty to fight because they would not want to leave their wives, he outlawed all marriages. Young couples still fell in love and wished to marry, so they went to the Catholic Bishop Valentine who, understanding love, began to secretly marry couples. When Claudius found out, he had Valentine arrested and ordered him put to death. While waiting in jail, Valentine began exchanging letters with the jailer’s daughter and soon had fallen in love with her. The day he was to be beheaded, he wrote her one last note and signed it: “˜From Your Valentine’. In 496 A.D. Christianity had taken over Rome and Pope Gelasius outlawed the pagen Lupercian Festival. Knowing its popularity, he looked to replace it with something more “˜appropriate’ and set aside a day in February to honor the martyr St. Valentine. Even though in 1969 the church removed St. Valentines Day from it’s calendar of “˜official’ holidays, it is still widely celebrated today.This day called Valentine’s can be a sad day for those who are lonely or feel unloved. Think about at least one person you can call and let them know you care.

“Beloved, let us love one another.” 1 John 4

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